Application tips for engineering students
By UCL Careers, on 11 October 2014
The engineering sector is similar to most others and it highly competitive. We’ve popped together some tips to help with the application process.
First and foremost if you want an engineering graduate job or internship then you better get applying. Deadlines for graduate schemes and internships are different from those at university and applying early could give you a huge advantage. Although many jobs have ‘open’ deadlines or closing deadlines around the end of the year, it pays to take action in September and October as deadlines don’t tell the full story.
Most employers assess applications as and when they are submitted. Many even hold assessment centres and make numerous job offers to early-bird candidates by the time the official closing date rolls round. This means that even though there are spaces left by the closing dates, there will be far more competition for fewer jobs.
Consider jobs or internships at small engineering companies
Don’t just look at big companies. By working for a smaller company you will often have more opportunities and responsibility than at a larger one. You’ll be amazed at the diverse range of smaller engineering consultancies that are able to offer graduates positions.
Non-engineering experience can boost your CV
- If you can’t find work experience in engineering, try to find a role that enables you to develop and demonstrate key skills (leading teams, problem solving, negotiating, etc) which can then be transferred to engineering.
- While at university, get involved with as much as you possibly can while still maintaining a 2.1 level of degree. If you can demonstrate core skills that your degree probably doesn’t give you, you will be more employable.
Be positive and passionate
- Apply when you are in a positive state of mind.
- Work on showing interest and passion. Create your own projects, follow your own processes, contribute to open source projects, etc.
- Apply for jobs you have a passion for, and ignore how much they pay.
- Your passion will show in your application/interview and you will be more likely to be successful.
Research the industry you most want to work in…
- Do your homework into the particular sector you are interested in to give you an extra edge.
… but don’t get obsessed with an ‘ideal job’
Get feedback on unsuccessful applications
- Seek feedback from employers, especially after an interview. I found the most effective method to be phoning people rather than emailing as emails can be easily ignored!
It’s not what you know…
- Make use of any contacts you have already in jobs or the sector you want to work in. Networking is important: attending careers fairs and presentations are good starting points.
For more career advice, search for graduate jobs and internships in the engineering sector please visit TARGETjobs Engineering.
The UCL Careers Engineering fair on Monday 13th October is kindly sponsored by Targetjobs Engineering.